Meirion Evans Cefn Gwlad


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Meirion Evans

Dai Jones, Llanilar yn ymweld â Meirion Evans, Gwynfaes, Cynwyl Elfed, Caerfyrddin. Dai Jones visits Meirion Evans, Gwynfaes, Cynwyl Elfed home to the 2002 George Prince of Wale...


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-The Welsh cob is unique to Wales.

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-It's a strong horse,

-full of spirit and character.

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-It was the backbone

-of agriculture...

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-..drawing the plough,

-taking the farmer to market...

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-..or ferrying the family

-to the Sunday service.

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-We owe a huge debt

-to the Welsh cob.

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-I'm on Gwynfaes farm

-in Hermon, Carmarthenshire.

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-It's the home of true Welsh cobs.

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-It's also home to Meirion Evans,

-his wife, Diane, and his son, Caleb.

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-They specialize in Welsh cobs.

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-If I named just one,

-Gwynfaes Culhwch...

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-..you'd know exactly where I am.

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-The Section D Welsh cob stallion.

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-There's a special celebration

-taking place here.

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-When that happens,

-I try to be around.

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-I hope Meirion's up there somewhere.

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-This is where you are, Meirion.

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-The old horse is looking good.

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-He's keeping quite well.

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-He's keeping quite well.

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-How old is he now?

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-He's 20 this year.

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-He's 20 this year.

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-Is he?

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-He's a nice horse

-with a good base.

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-He's not bad all over.

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-My grandfather always said

-you need good legs and clean hocks.

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-He's made his mark as a sire.

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-Oh, yes.

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-He won the Prince of Wales in 2002.

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-He's gone on to be a good stallion,

-producing good stock.

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-There are a lot about,

-horses that he's sired.

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-Yes, he's done very well.

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-Three of them have won gold medals

-at the Royal Welsh.

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-You use just AI, do you?

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-Yes, for about nine years.

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-Yes, for about nine years.

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-Nine years?

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-He hasn't been near a mare

-for nine years.

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-It means he can be more productive.

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-He's an exceptional animal.

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-He does go out.

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-We've got a paddock up top

-and he's been out there.

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-But he comes out here every day.

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-He can move,

-his action is incredible.

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-We'll have a look at his offspring.

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-My grandfather set great stock

-in a good tail set on a horse.

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-He's 20 years old,

-and his back end is still right.

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-Small ears.

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-Everything Dad-cu said,

-I hope he has them.

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-Is this a son of his?

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-Is this a son of his?

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-Yes, one of them.

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-This is one of eight

-full brothers or sisters.

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-One mare we have

-has had eight foals out of Culhwch.

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-They all bear the name Gwledig.

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-Macsen Wledig,

-Cyleddon Wledig, Cynan Wledig...

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-..Seren Wledig,

-which won at Lampeter.

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-That's up with Dorian and Michelle.

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-Having the right names

-on the horses...

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-..means so much, doesn't it?

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-The English

-may have trouble saying them...

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-..but they still buy them.

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-It's lovely to have that name,

-like the princes of Wales.

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-Of course.

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-Whoa, whoa.

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-You don't want too many foals.

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-No, I usually stick at four now.

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-We once had as many as ten a year.

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-No, I don't want...

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-To be honest, we only have

-ones that match Culhwch now.

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-You don't want to sell them,

-you want people to covet them.

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-Three or four is no problem,

-the demand is high enough.

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-There's something

-about a cob's head.

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-There's no other horse like it.

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-There'll be no show without these.

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-There'll be no show without these.

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-No, there won't.

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-People come

-from all over the world.

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-It doesn't matter where in the world

-these horses go...

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-..the people who understand

-the breed are in Wales.

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-Yes, that's right.

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-You can take him for a run now.

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-You can take him for a run now.

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-Right.

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-For me, that's the benefit of AI.

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-When Culhwch was in his prime,

-he'd cover four or five mares a day.

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-We had to start early

-with a proven mare.

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-In a couple of hours,

-we'd try other mares.

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-Now, I collect the semen

-in the morning.

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-If we have four mares to cover,

-I divide the semen by four.

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-Every mare gets semen

-of the same quality.

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-There are no negatives.

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-He doesn't go

-from one mare to another.

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-No germs are transferred,

-and we use new liners each time.

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-Hygiene is inherent in the system,

-no germs are transferred.

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-We don't know what mares come here.

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-You're in here.

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-Yes, that's right.

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-I put a filter

-in this bottle here.

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-This then goes into this as a liner,

-to keep things clean.

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-I'll use tape to be safe,

-in case the pressure gets too high.

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-And you do it all here on the farm?

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-Oh, yes.

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-I went on a course at Twemlows Hall.

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-A two-day course.

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-I've done it with cattle,

-and this is much easier.

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-This goes in here.

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-I saw the boys

-at Twemlows collecting.

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-It was a two-man job.

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-I thought there must be a dummy...

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-..that I could operate by myself.

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-I put this around there.

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-This holds it in place...

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-..so that it doesn't come off.

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-And you get pretty good results?

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-And you get pretty good results?

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-Yes, pretty good.

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-Some need repeats.

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-This mare is repeating this year...

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-..but as a rule, it's as effective

-as actually covering a mare.

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-Water goes into this

-to keep it warm...

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-..so that he doesn't feel cold.

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-Now, we can collect the semen...

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-..when he's at his best.

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-I collect every other day at most.

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-A mare is being done today,

-then I might leave it.

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-I feel Culhwch gets more peace,

-that there's less strain on him.

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-You feel that the horse is happier.

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-One or two mares would be fine,

-he'd come out jumping and prancing.

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-I don't want to overwork him,

-because he's a popular horse.

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-But a few mares come,

-and the strain was greater.

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-This way, we hope to get

-one or two extra years out of him.

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-If you have a quality horse...

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-..you expect him to reproduce

-the strong traits in his character.

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-In Culhwch's case,

-his action, the quality in his legs.

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-Because it's in him...

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-Culhwch is a horse that can move.

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-It's in his blood.

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-It's in Culhwch...

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-..and that's why so many

-of his progeny move as they do.

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-There it is.

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-The semen is down there.

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-This is gel.

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-It won't go through the filter.

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-It's like jelly.

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-It's like jelly.

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-A hundred mill?!

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-Is that enough for two mares?

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-Is that enough for two mares?

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-It's enough for five mares.

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-Tell me, how long will this last

-before it's used on a mare?

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-Even like this,

-it'll be OK for an hour.

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-If we store it in a cool box...

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-..with what's called an extender

-on top of it...

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-..and ice packs around it...

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-They cool it, and the semen

-goes to sleep, it slows down.

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-They use less energy,

-they stay alive, because they go...

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-Yes, I've seen them on a plate.

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-When they're inseminated,

-they warm up and perk up.

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-A lot of the sperm are still alive.

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-A lot of the sperm are still alive.

-

-Do you inseminate them?

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-Yes, I'll be doing it now

-with the repeat mare.

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-Hold on and I'll do it now.

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-Hold on and I'll do it now.

-

-You learn something every day.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

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-This is the story

-of a stunning stallion.

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-Gwynfaes Culhwch.

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-He has topped the sire ratings

-for ten consecutive years.

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-It's some achievement

-by Meirion Gwynfaes' Welsh cob.

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-He's a breeder who does it all,

-from AI to feeding.

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-You hold this, right.

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-Whoa, girl.

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-Whoa, girl.

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-Hold her tail now, on the top there.

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-Don't get your hand close.

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-OTHER HORSES WHINNY

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-They know what's going on.

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-I can feel that the cervix

-is open ready, so no problem.

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-I'll push in about two inches.

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-Right, here we are.

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-Out it comes, empty.

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-It's important to withdraw slowly.

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-If I withdraw too quickly,

-it creates a vacuum.

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-Fair play, you've taught me the art.

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-I've been doing it for years now.

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-All I can hope is that you get one

-as pretty as the one she has now.

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-I'm hoping so too.

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-A few like that one.

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-There we are, all clean and tidy.

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-If someone has phoned wanting one...

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-..I'll take it out of this

-and keep it in the cool box.

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-It'll do more than one mare.

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-They'll be in heat for five days,

-and the fourth day is best.

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-If you know when they're coming in,

-the fourth day is best.

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-They ovulate in 24 hours after that.

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-They ovulate in 24 hours after that.

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-What if you feel they need more?

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-I give them more.

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-Mares come here, and neither I

-or the owner know when they came on.

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-I might insert a syringe

-as a little banker, you know.

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-Then I'll keep trying

-every other day.

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-That's how I do it.

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-I'm not saying it's perfect,

-but it does work.

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-If it wasn't

-for health and safety...

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-I have taken the stuff

-in a bottle before now...

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-..and done it in the field,

-but never with a mare I don't know.

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-I know my own mares.

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-I know which ones.

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-I know which ones.

-

-Think how a lot of these boys are.

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-It's nothing for them

-to take a mare...

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-..from the Vale of Glamorgan

-up to Anglesey or England.

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-I've posted semen to Scotland...

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-..and it's there

-by nine the next morning.

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-It's amazing

-how small Britain is by post.

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-Meirion's grandfather

-was a big influence on him.

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-He admired him greatly.

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-He still influences him today

-in his way with horses.

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-Dad-cu was a big horse man.

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-Having spent over 20 years with him,

-I hope I learnt something from him.

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-You've learnt from someone.

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-He was a great man.

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-I went to school in Llandysul.

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-But I was never there

-on the last Thursday of a month.

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-I was at Llanybydder mart.

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-With the data in schools today,

-they'd have soon found out...

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-..that I was always absent

-on the last Thursday.

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-But I was starting to learn.

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-So, it was your grandfather

-who made you such a fan of the cobs?

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-Oh, yes, totally. No-one else.

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-No-one else.

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-He was a horse man.

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-In Llanybydder,

-he'd go in among the horses.

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-He wouldn't look from afar.

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-In he'd go, among the foals

-and colts, lifting their tails...

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-..to check that the joints

-and hind legs were right.

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-He always looked down,

-not up at the head.

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-If the head was good, fine.

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-But without good legs, forget it.

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-Forget it.

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-He wanted clean joints and quality.

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-Make sure they have

-a good head and tail carriage.

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-That the rear was right, every time.

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-That was his advice.

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-It's brought you

-the Prince of Wales Cup...

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-..and many other prizes.

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-But I understand that the prize

-you value highest of all...

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-..is that Culhwch has made

-such an impression on the breed.

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-Oh, yes.

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-For him to go on

-and top the sire ratings...

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-..for ten years in a row

-is incredible.

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-You'll never do it

-with just your own horses.

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-It takes several foals

-before you can challenge for it.

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-You won't win it

-with one horse, one foal.

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-I'd say that between 16 and 20...

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-..of Culhwch's progeny

-are shown every year.

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-That's why he's lauded.

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-This is the first year

-that I've considered it.

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-He's reached a milestone,

-he's done it, a decade.

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-When he won it for the third year,

-I had a dream.

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-That the ring at the Royal Welsh

-was full of Culhwch's progeny.

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-I had that dream.

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-I kept it to myself

-and didn't say anything for years.

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-When he had topped the ratings

-for seven, eight years...

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-..I thought about gathering

-his progeny in one place.

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-I decided to do it

-at Carmarthen showground.

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-The facilities are great,

-and I think we have over 50 coming.

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-People are coming

-from all over the world.

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-It's good for Wales, isn't it?

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-It's good for Wales, isn't it?

-

-Of course it is.

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-They're coming one by one now,

-then we've got a couple of groups.

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-Full siblings.

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-Then they'll all come in together,

-and Culhwch will come in at the end.

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-Culhwch's progeny

-have gone all over the world.

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-Yes, it has.

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-We decided to take his semen

-when he was fairly young.

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-We sent some

-to Australia, America...

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-..and New Zealand.

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-As a result,

-foals of his have been born there.

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-They create interest,

-and they've come over.

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-What part of the world are you from?

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-What part of the world are you from?

-

-Indiana, USA.

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-Is that right?

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-Obviously,

-you have the breeding over there.

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-I have three Culhwch foals.

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-What size stud of cobs

-have you as a family?

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-We probably have 16.

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-What brought you first here?

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-Just reading about the cobs?

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-Just reading about the cobs?

-

-I went to a show in Missouri, USA.

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-Meirion was judging.

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-Culhwch had just won at Lampeter,

-as a three-year-old, I believe.

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-He brought a video, and I said...

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-.."That's what I want

-in my breeding programmes."

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-I have two more ladies from abroad.

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-Ladies, what country are you from?

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-Ladies, what country are you from?

-

-New Zealand.

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-Really? You've come a fair way.

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-Really? You've come a fair way.

-

-Yes!

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-How many cobs have you over there?

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-How many cobs have you over there?

-

-I've got five.

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-What country are you from?

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-What country are you from?

-

-I'm from Australia.

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-Do you show the cobs at all?

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-We show them at home.

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-We breed them,

-show them and event them.

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-Harness and dressage and everything.

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-What do you like about them?

-What attracted you?

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-For me, they're incredibly loyal,

-sensitive but sensible.

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-I just love them.

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-I wish everyone would ride them.

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-You don't have to work them

-all the time.

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-They're wonderful animals to ride.

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-The atmosphere when you see them

-at the Royal Welsh as well.

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-You can't do anything

-but fall in love with that.

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-The Royal Welsh Wednesday

-is one sacred day...

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-..for us as a nation

-and the world as horse lovers.

0:19:460:19:49

-There's nothing in the world

-like it, nothing I've ever seen.

0:19:490:19:54

-Melbourne Cup, maybe, in Australia.

0:19:540:19:56

-Stick to maybe!

0:19:570:19:58

-It's wonderful to have

-an afternoon like this...

0:20:040:20:07

-..in the county where he was bred.

0:20:080:20:10

-These people who come from abroad.

0:20:100:20:13

-Do they call to see

-the progeny you have at home?

0:20:130:20:16

-No messing, no messing.

0:20:160:20:18

-They've travelled so far.

0:20:180:20:22

-I'd never go as far

-as some of these have done.

0:20:220:20:26

-They think the world

-of Culhwch, to be honest.

0:20:260:20:30

-They've made an incredible effort

-to get here.

0:20:310:20:35

-I'm trying to show a horse

-from rural Carmarthenshire...

0:20:350:20:39

-..how far he's gone

-and how much one horse has achieved.

0:20:390:20:43

-That's Culhwch's strength.

0:20:440:20:45

-What he has given back to the breed.

0:20:460:20:48

-Many horses have beaten him...

0:20:490:20:51

-..but they haven't given back

-the quality he has to the breed.

0:20:510:20:55

-Did it ever cross your mind...

0:21:060:21:10

-Did you ever get an offer?

0:21:100:21:12

-Would you have sold him?

0:21:120:21:14

-Yes, well, I did get an offer.

0:21:140:21:16

-No, not an offer.

0:21:170:21:18

-I'll tell you what happened.

0:21:180:21:20

-John Williams Crug-y-bar

-wanted to come down to see him.

0:21:210:21:26

-He wanted to buy him.

0:21:270:21:28

-I didn't really want

-to keep a stallion.

0:21:280:21:31

-I told him to come down.

0:21:310:21:33

-Culhwch was the type of foal

-who was never with his mother.

0:21:330:21:37

-He was nosing around

-or standing by the gate.

0:21:370:21:40

-Never with his mother.

0:21:400:21:42

-I've got a similar filly this year,

-she goes where she pleases.

0:21:420:21:47

-He'd stand there, with his tail up.

0:21:470:21:51

-We went down

-and Culhwch was laying there.

0:21:510:21:54

-I told John, "Get him to stand,"

-so that he was seen at his best.

0:21:540:22:00

-"Get him to stand."

0:22:000:22:01

-He stood...

0:22:010:22:03

-..like a calf, head down.

0:22:030:22:05

-I thought, what's up with him?

0:22:050:22:07

-"No, I think I'll leave him,"

-said John.

0:22:070:22:10

-It didn't surprise me

-because he wasn't showing at all.

0:22:100:22:14

-The next day, he was like a bird.

0:22:140:22:16

-It's as if he was meant to be here,

-and he's been here ever since.

0:22:170:22:21

-I've got one more question for you.

0:22:220:22:25

-I'd think that you live

-what is the ideal life for you.

0:22:250:22:31

-Horses that you've bred yourself.

0:22:310:22:33

-You do everything for them.

0:22:330:22:36

-They're an integral part

-of your life.

0:22:360:22:39

-Are you happy to carry on

-come what may?

0:22:390:22:43

-Oh, yes.

0:22:430:22:44

-Try to keep doing your own thing.

0:22:440:22:47

-Be happy in your own skin.

0:22:470:22:48

-I'm a firm believer in that.

0:22:490:22:50

-Look over the stable door

-and be happy with what's in there.

0:22:510:22:55

-Don't look at the cups

-in the trophy cabinet.

0:22:550:22:59

-If you're happy

-with what's in your stable...

0:22:590:23:02

-..you'll keep going.

0:23:030:23:04

-Myself, I smile by the stable door,

-not by the door of the cabinet.

0:23:040:23:10

-I'll take that

-as a prophet's prayer.

0:23:100:23:13

-That's how I am, anyway.

0:23:150:23:17

-Whenever I see Culhwch,

-he brings a smile to my face.

0:23:170:23:21

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:23:430:23:45

-.

0:23:450:23:45

Dai Jones, Llanilar yn ymweld â Meirion Evans, Gwynfaes, Cynwyl Elfed, Caerfyrddin. Dai Jones visits Meirion Evans, Gwynfaes, Cynwyl Elfed home to the 2002 George Prince of Wales Cup winner.